What To Expect When You Visit
The lab is child friendly—we have a waiting room with games, toys, and books for children and their siblings. Before the session starts an assistant will go over the study and answer your questions. You will be asked to fill out some paperwork (informed consent). Your child will then be accompanied to our child friendly event room. Hundreds of local families have participated in our studies and most children find them fun and engaging. Below are some frequently asked questions about what to expect during your visit.
Will I be with my child during the study?
Parents are usually not with their child during the study. When parents are present children are often distracted and are less likely to pay attention to the events they will later be asked about. When parents are present during the interview, children often look to their parents when they don’t know the answer to a question. This can interfere with the study’s results. But parents can help bring their child to the event and interview rooms and they often sit close by while the study is going on.
What if we get there and my child doesn't want to be in the study?
If you get to the lab and your child is scared and does not want to be in the study you can leave at any time without penalty. If the study involves monetary compensation you will still be paid for your time. Most children find our studies fun and engaging and have no problem being separated from their parents for a few minutes.
Can I observe from another room?
We do not have an observation room for parents to watch the session (one-way glass). However, we videotape all sessions and parents are free to make an appointment and view the video after the session.
I have several children. Can I have more than one of my children in the study?
We can only enroll one child per household in the study. This is a memory study so chances are the children would talk. If you have a child who qualifies for our study for older siblings they can participate in that study, and be sure to ask the Lab Manager (Whitney) what other studies we have that they could participate in.
Why do you videotape the session? How will the video be used?
The main reason we videotape is so that we have a complete record of what transpired. This is a memory study, so when we interview children we often look back at the video to see if what they remember is accurate. Also, we cannot possibly write down everything children say as we go along. With videotaping we can later transcribe what children says word for word. All video is stored on a secure server operated by Montclair State University. Video will never be distributed and will never be used for research presentations unless you give us your permission to do so.
Will I see the results from the study?
Yes. After the study is finished and we compile the results we will send you a summary of our findings. We do not conduct clinical research, meaning that your child is not evaluated, assessed, or diagnosed. In other words, they will not receive a test score. Rather, we average children's memory performance across different age groups and this allows us to make recommendations about how to speak to children under various conditions.